Donald Trump’s frequent visits to his golf courses has cost American taxpayers over $100 million, and a recent report reveals that part of that cost comes from the president’s insistence that he leave for a foreign trip to Afghanistan from his Florida golf resort rather than from Washington, D.C.
According to HuffPost, Trump’s recent surprise trip to Afghanistan over the Thanksgiving holiday likely cost taxpayers an additional $5.3 million because he opted to leave and arrive at his Florida resort.
Trump’s 36-hour trip to visit the troops in the Middle East reportedly required a cargo plan solely to move Trump from Mar-a-Lago to the airport where he could fly out of the country. Reportedly, Trump was driven in a car directly into the cargo plane.
An additional 474 known as Air Force One when the president was on board was required as well, meaning that two extra planes were needed to complete the trip.
On the return leg of the trip, Air Force One flew to Germany to pick up the president to fly him back to Florida. The backup 747 was refueled and returned to Washington, D.C. The White House reportedly justified the move saying that it saved time because refueling normally takes about an hour, but Trump was able to leave in under 30 minutes from the German air base. They also said that the crew on the original plane needed to take a break.
Trump traveled between the two 747s in a BMW and took off right away, allowing him to land back at his golf course in Florida early in the morning.
All told the two planes and extra effort cost taxpayers about $5.3 million that might not have been spent if Trump had departed and arrived in Washington, D.C.
Robert Weissman, head of the liberal group Public Citizen, said that the decision wasn’t surprising.
“For a president who loves golf at his own clubs far more than he cares about policy or the public’s treasury, this is, unfortunately, not surprising,” he said. “What’s surprising, perhaps, is that Trump didn’t schedule a round of golf on his way back home.”
An official in the White House said that the Florida departure was necessary in order to keep the president’s trip a secret.
“For security purposes, it was important that no changes were made to his usual annual routine, which is to travel to Florida for Thanksgiving with the family,” they said.
It was previously reported that Trump’s golfing trips cost taxpayers $3.4 million each time he takes one. So far in his presidency, he has made 26 trips to his golf courses, for a total of $123.6 million. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Trump has spent 227 days golfing during his presidency as of early December.